Meet Duane Alexander Miller, author of “Spreading Blessing to Those Who Don’t Work for It: Liturgical Reflections of a Cross-Cultural Missionary.”
Duane A. Miller is a native of Montana but has lived and ministered in many paces, including Mexico, Jordan, Israel and Spain. He is married to Sharon and they have three young children. They live in Madrid where Duane serves as priest at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer and is associate professor at the Protestant Faculty of Theology (UEBE). Duane holds a PhD in Divinity from the University of Edinburgh and has published broadly on the topics of ex-Muslim Christians and the history of Anglicanism in the Middle East.
Q & A with Duane Miller
Q: What are your 3 favorite hymns?
A: “All Creatures of our God and King,” “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”
Q: What is your favorite worship service or part of the Book of Common Prayer?
A: Can I go with the Book of Occasional Services? The blessing of a home. Absolutely love it and have used it several times, both in English and Spanish. I love the readings for each room and the blessings done there, and I love getting a bowl of water and making it holy water by a blessing, and finding a random sprig from the street for the aspersion. A commodious and graceful rite.
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: A book on pastoral care for Christians who converted from Islam. This is a quickly growing group and almost completely ignored by the mainstream church. Chapters are being published as we go through the New Wineskins blog and in Spanish at Escritorio Anglicano.
In addition to being priest at the cathedral, I’m serving as founding co-pastor of Kanisa, an Arabic-language non-denominational Christian fellowship in Madrid. Many of our members are converts from Islam. We’re only half a year old and planning for growth.
Q: You’re multilingual and have worshipped and led worship in a wide variety of places. Are there any phrases in any languages that you particularly like or enjoy using or that are meaningful to you that speakers of English alone may not be familiar with that you can share with us?
A: I love the Arabic phrase for “the heavens and the earth are full of your glory” because Arabic has a singular and a plural, like English, but it also has a dual, which to my knowledge is unique. So in the Trisagion we get to use the dual for ‘full’ of your glory. It’s beautiful.
In the Mozarabic liturgy the standard amen goes like this—and it is used multiple times during any service: “By thy mercy, O God, who art blessed and livest and governest all things, world without end, amen.” It sort of burrows into your marrow after a while.
Q: Your essay, in part, reflects on how worship forms us and teaches us while we worship. If you could share some piece of information or wisdom with people to help them prepare before they came into a church worship service, what would it be?
A: We’re Anglicans, but our liturgy is Iberian, or Spanish, if you prefer. Indeed, the Book of Common Prayer and the Latin Rite are closer to each other than either of them are to the Mozarabic rite. So yeah, just be ready for something different. Also, If you come for Communion contemplate the fact that the table is set before most of the service takes place. What does that mean?
Q: Do you have a question related to liturgy that you would like to ask?
A: A lot of the churches in the West that are growing are in fact not liturgical. Why is that? What is drawing people to those churches? What can we Anglicans learn from them and incorporate into our church life that will help us attract new members?
Do you have a response you would like to share with Duane? Respond via the Contact Us link or contact Duane directly on one of his social media links.
Learn more about Duane Miller through his Blog: duanemiller.wordpress.com
On YouTube: Duane Miller
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr_duane_miller/
On Twitter: Duane Miller (@DrDuaneMiller) on Twitter
Check out Duane’s books: